“Van life” is a new way of life for people who want to live cheaply and have a sustainable lifestyle. Van life means living in an RV, camper, or tiny home in the city or countryside. On a budget, you can care for your van with grey water recycling so that you can power it without being plugged in.
When you have a van (or any vehicle, really) that uses water and sewage, it’s essential to know how to dispose of the grey water. Depending on your new lifestyle, you may find yourself working further from home than you ever have before. It means that you may not be able to drive to a dump station or sewer as often as you need to, given your current lifestyle.
If you live in a van or live in a tiny home, the grey water recycling method will prove to be a valuable skill.
Grey Water Recycling
One of the biggest misconceptions about van life is that living in a tiny home or van means you have to live like the pioneers did, taking baths in creeks and filling up drinking water from lakeshores. While you can do this if you want, it doesn’t have to be your only choice for water. You can have a sustainable lifestyle, but still, take those baths and drink tap water every day. It’s just a matter of how you gather your water instead of buying it.
Recycling grey water is an efficient way to minimize waste, and if you live in a van or tiny home, it’s a necessity.
How To Dispose Of Grey Water Properly
Because grey water recycling is such a hot topic for van life and living on a budget, we’ve included an article below about getting rid of grey water properly not to pollute the environment. It’s a hot topic, and it’s one of the most common questions among van lifers.
So let’s answer that question and go over the most efficient ways to dispose of grey water for van life.
The Three Methods To Dispose Of Grey Water
Finding A Sewer Or Dump Station
Let’s face it; sometimes, you have to drive a long way to get to a sewer or dump station. That’s not always the best option when you are living in a van. You don’t want to waste precious time driving around looking for one when it’s time to dump your tank—especially if you have no idea where it is and if there is a rule against dumping at certain times of the day.
That is when grey water recycling comes in handy. You’ll never have to wonder where to dump your van’s wastewater again. It’s simple, and you can use any part of the water your van uses for cleaning or laundry.
Using A Grey Water Tank
Using a grey water tank is very simple, and you can build one yourself if you want to save money. All you need is a food-grade plastic container and some lid, whether screw-on or snap-on. It doesn’t need to be food-grade, but you need to be mindful of where you wash your clothes or dishes. If it’s in a plastic container, you can wash it in the dishwasher.
If your tank is at home, empty it at home between washing loads and let it dry completely before adding more water. Repeat until the tank is empty.
Using A Portable Holding Tank
If you don’t want to build your grey water tank, you have the option of buying a portable holding tank. It’s like a regular sewage tank, and it works the same way. It holds your waste until you are ready to dump it in a place that allows it.
In some cases, these portable holding tanks come with a transfer pump, making it easier to empty into your home’s toilet or even use onsite for your van.
What To Do With Your Grey Water When You Have No Other Choice?
Sometimes, you don’t have the option to avoid dumping your tank. When you’re camping, you may not be able to find a dump station, and you don’t know where to dump grey water. Or maybe you are visiting family on vacation, and you don’t want to leave a smelly mess for them to clean up when they get home.
It’s an unfortunate but unavoidable situation. You’ll have to dump your tank, and you need to know how to do it properly so that you don’t risk polluting the environment.
- If you’re dumping your tank into the ocean or a pond, you need to be especially mindful about how much water you’re releasing. Never dump more than 3 gallons of water at once in these areas. If your grey water is contaminated with toxic foods or chemicals, it can kill sea life in the area and change the ecosystem. The same rules apply to lakes and ponds.
- If you’re dumping your tank on land, you’ll need to dig a hole about 10 inches deep before you can dump your grey water. You can use this hole for everything from brushing your teeth to washing dishes to even disposing of human waste if you feel comfortable digging a deeper hole.
- When digging the hole, make sure that the grey water doesn’t end up in the groundwater or nearby waterways. Dig at least 100 feet away from any bodies of water. Be sure to cover the hole with dirt when you are dumping to prevent anyone from falling in and injuring themselves.
There is nothing worse than someone falling in your grey water pit and injure themselves because you didn’t take the proper precautions.
How To Avoid Pollution And Save Money With Van-dumping
When it comes to dumping your grey water tank, don’t let the word “pollution” scare you into taking a careless approach. Properly dumping your grey water will help you avoid polluting the environment, prevent health risks and save money at the same time.
You can make your van more energy efficient and save money when you use it properly by following these tips:
- Use hot water for dishes. Hot water is okay to dump in the environment.
- Only dump clear water from your tank. Don’t dump anything that feels slimy or smells bad.
- Be mindful of how much water you’re dumping at once and never dump more than 3 gallons to prevent polluting the ecosystem.
- Don’t use chemicals or toxic foods in your tank. If you mix a food item that turns into a sludge-like material with water, it will clog your pipes and damage your van’s engine.
- Don’t store your grey water in an open area. Please ensure you store the container in a ventilated area to prevent odors from lingering. Dumping the grey water from your tank can be a messy job, but it will save you money at the same time.
It’s essential to follow these tips and make sure that you’re not contributing to harmful chemicals that could potentially impact the environment. Luckily, properly dumping your grey water tank can help you save money while also keeping the environment safe and healthy.
Grey Water Containers for Camping
To safely dump the grey water without selling your vehicle or installing costly pipes, we recommend getting a grey water container.
These containers are affordable and can be installed without any drilling. You can get these containers from a trusted source like Amazon. Just look for a “grey water storage container,” and we think you’ll be impressed with the options available on the site.
RV Grey Water Treatment
If you require a grey water system for your RV, we recommend engaging the services of a professional to install it. RVs are machines that can be complicated to work on, and it’s often best to leave these projects with the professionals.
If you’re handy with DIY projects, then we suggest visiting a local store that ships all over the United States. You’ll find RV dumpsters and grey water containers at well-stocked rental centers throughout the country.
A grey water system can be a great addition or modification to your RV. The key is selecting the right product for your needs and finding a system that will work in your RV or camping environment. You can buy a simple system for a small RV, or you can invest more money to capture more water. In short, don’t expect a system to work well if it doesn’t fit your RV.
Grey water systems are commonly installed in RVs for convenience. The water is treated and stored in an outdoor container before being used later for cleaning or other purposes. You could also adapt many of the systems we’ve discussed here to use on your home, but RVs and truck campers commonly use them.